Joseph Jarman

Genres: Jazz
Decades: 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s


14 September 1937, Pine Bluff, Arkansas, USA. When he was a child Jarman’s family moved to Chicago, where he studied drums at high school. While in the army he played saxophone and clarinet; after demobilisation he travelled until settling back in Chicago in 1961. He joined the AACM in 1965, leading various groups and playing in Richard Muhal Abrams’ The Experimental Band. During that year he also collaborated with controversial classical composer John Cage on a multi-media event. A poet himself, Jarman’s concerts would often include poets or dancers, his taste for the theatrical having been developed when he studied drama at the Second City Theatre School and the Art Institute of Chicago School. In 1969, dispirited by the death of Charles Clark and Chris Gaddy, two of his regular sidemen, he disbanded his own group and joined the Art Ensemble Of Chicago, with whom the bulk of his work was done until his departure in the mid-90s.

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